‘Gravity Rush 2’
In this sequel to the 2008 Playstation Vita game Gravity Rush, players continue with the adventures of Kat, a girl who has the ability to manipulate gravity. In addition to the gravity powers of the first game, there are also two other kinds of abilities players can use in this one: Lunar, which allows Kat to increase her speed and jump higher, and Jupiter, which makes her heavier but ups the damage of her attacks. Using the touchpad, the player can switch between all three while playing.
The game is much larger than its predecessor, clocking in at between 20 and 40 hours long, with about three times as many missions, and with a map 2.5 times larger than the first. Unfortunately for Vita owners, the game will be a Playstation 4 exclusive, so if you’re a big Gravity Rush fan who has been waiting to make the transition to PS4, now might be the time.
Created by Media Molecule, the same studio behind the Little Big Planet franchise, Dreams is another sandbox game which revolves all around user-created content. The idea is that players will be able to explore the dreams of others and create and share their own as well, with the overall game attempting to capture the strange sensation of a dream.
The art style has been described as a “moving painting,” and players can manipulate the objects of others or sketch out their own, manipulating objects with the Dualshock controller. Rather than each level being its own self-contained experience, the idea with Dreams is that all of the user-created content is connected in one giant dreamworld that the player is constantly inside. You will simply exit through a door of one level and find yourself in the next.
A beta is expected to be released sometime before the game’s launch later in 2016.
‘What Remains of Edith Finch’
What Remains of Edith Finch is basically the video game equivalent of a short story anthology book. The game revolves around the cursed Finch family, beginning as Edith Finch returns to the house she grew up in. As she explores the house, she comes upon stories of various members of the Finch family, specifically tales about how that person died, and so players then flash back and take over as that new character.
The game, then, will be quite diverse in that it takes place across several generations in all sorts of different time periods and with all sorts of protagonists.
“In the full game you’ll find stories that span three generations of Finches,” Director Ian Dallas told Polygon. “It’s a large, strange family and variety has definitely been one of our goals. We didn’t want it to feel like one story; we wanted it to feel like you’re exploring the history of this entire family”
Dallas also compared the different segments to episodes of The Twilight Zone in that they all start off somewhat subdued and then take a surreal turn. It sounds creepy as hell, and any game that compares itself to The Twilight Zone should be worth a look. What Remains of Edith Finch will hit the PS4 later in 2016.
The long-anticipated fifth installment in the Persona franchise, Persona 5 has been in development since 2010. Japan is getting the game a few months earlier than North America, so if you’re a U.S. gamer obsessed with the franchise, you may want to try to learn Japanese before September.
Persona 5 is set in present-day Tokyo, and it revolves around a group of characters who must use Personas, manifestations of their psyche, in order to fend off dark forces. This time the main protagonist becomes the leader of a vigilante organization called the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, which begins to grow over the course of the game. Persona 5 is expected to be much larger than the previous installments, and unlike previous games, director Katsura Hashino says in this one the main characters will be willingly embracing the events happening around them rather than being dragged into the action. They will also actively seek out the antagonists rather than being approached.
The long wait finally ends for Japanese gamers this September, and the North American version will be released in February 2017.
‘Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice’
Ninja Theory describes their new game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrafice as an “independent AAA” game, meaning it’s made by an independent publisher but still has all the qualities of a major release. Based on Celtic myth, the game revolves around Senua, a woman who travels through a horrifying underworld crawling. The game hopes to explore mental health issues, with the titular character suffering from PTSD after a Viking invasion.
The facial animations is perhaps the most impressive element of the game, and that’s because Senua’s performance was accomplished using motion capture. According to Polygon, a recent showcase of footage actually involved actress Melina Juergens performing the character live, with the character being generated right there on stage.
“The robustness and quality we showed today is the result of serious technical breakthroughs that will transform production,” Gareth Edwards, CEO of Cubic Motion, told Polygon. “We’ve seen a few groups try this kind of thing before with more primitive technology, but we’ve never seen a system reach the kind of level required to make it a genuine alternative to offline production for facial animation.”
Even though the game looks so incredible, believe it or not, only 15 people are working on it. We’ll see the fruits of their labor when the game launches later in 2016.